The Los Angeles Police Department announced it caught a local burglar who allegedly had been posing as a real estate agent to case out celebrity homes and steal millions of dollars’ worth of items.
LAPD arrested 32-year-old Benjamin Eitan Ackerman on Wednesday in connection with a series of celebrity and high-end home burglaries, calling them one of the most brazen and sophisticated string of burglaries they've ever seen.
Police first became aware of the burglaries back in July 2018, when a multi-million-dollar home that was listed for sale reported numerous high value items such as jewelry, artwork, wine, clothing and handbags had been stolen.
Detectives received a lead on a person of interest – Ackerman. He posed as a real estate agent and later as a home buyer several weeks prior to the burglary, LAPD said. Ackerman even allegedly signed the open house ledger in several cases prior to the homes being burglarized using a variation of his name.
Ackerman dressed the part when he went to the homes, wearing name-brand, expensive clothing and accessories.
“When he showed up he was dressed to the nines. He acted the part,” said LAPD Detective Jared Timmons. “A lot of times people, we just want to be friendly. And we don't want to challenge people … and then because of that lack of challenging is how you basically invite the devil in.”
Police found Ackerman in possession of more than 2,000 stolen items, and authorities suspect that his criminal activity has been going on for several years.
LADP is now asking victims to come forward, claim their stolen items and give any information possible regarding the investigation. It posted pictures online here. Detectives also asked that anyone who had done business with Ackman and bought merchandise from him to come forward.
Detectives are still in the process of identifying all Benjamin Eitan Ackerman's co-conspirators.